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Pop music
Popular music (or in short, pop) has always existed in the form of folk songs performed in front of an audience, unlike art music, that was rational The Beatles / stamp of The Republic of Tchadand performed in formal "necktie" concerts. The lighter popular music was performed for the sake of the masses that did not consider music as culture but rather as entertainment.
In the 20th century, pop music became an industry of entertainment for the masses that indeed sprouted some artistic achievements, yet, in most cases, addressed the biggest audience possible, without artistic pretensions. Electronic media, radio and television at the time, and the development of cheap distribution means like vinyl records and later the CDs - made pop music a successful industry in which accomplished singers and players become millionaires. Artists as Michael Jackson, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen are now superstars whose success exceeds the musical arena and their image is handled by a system of image and marketing consultants inconceivable in the terms of previous generations.
Elvis Presley / stamp of ERAbove every other pop phenomenon of the 20th century, stands an amazing artistic legend which is pop music's highest achievement ever - The Beatles. This band and its four members, influenced and continues to influence generations of musicians and pop lovers. Their staggering success and the unprecedented fan phenomenon (called "Beatlmania" at its time) demonstrates well the fact that even pure art such as the music of this band can gain popularity and the love of the audience. The Beatles were inspired by many elements, from European classical music to Indian music.
Pop songs based on classicsRock and Roll, which is a more rugged style in pop, originated in Blues and black soul music in America, and now uses an appropriate form of expression for bands and artists of rather heavier style than the very light trend called "Mainstream". The first and one of the biggest stars of rock was Elvis Presley.
The development of electronic instruments and especially synthesizers and electric keyboards, contributed a great deal to the new sound of rock and pop music of today, and modern styles, such as Dance, Techno and Ambient, are based on extensive use of synthesizers, computers and programmed sound machines.

Popular music StylesLook@wwwLook@www.allmusic.com
Abbreviation for 'popular'. The popular, mainstream, melodic, light and more commercialized music. Pop groups usually include keyboards, guitars, drums, electric effects and most pop songs are sung by solo or group vocalists.
Main figures: Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Michael Jackson

Rock & RollLook@www.allmusic.com
Rock & Roll sources are Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, Jazz and American Countrymusic. Bill Haley, with his greatest hit “Rock Around the Clock”, created a danceable and catchy music that became highly popular among youth, with an insistent and strong back beat and mostly three chords. With simple lyrics and black blues and rhythm and blues influences, Haley and others succeeded in making Rock & Roll the young white audiences' music.
Main figures: Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, The Beatles

A generic term, type of popular music which has spread since the 1950s from the US to the rest of the Western world. It originated from Rock & Roll and began as a fusion of styles such as Country and Blues, Rock became energetic and rebellious, changing every few years. It is only natural for a genre that began its life as a fusion of styles, that Rock has been fragmented into new styles and variations, such as Heavy metal and Soft rock, Progressive rock, Punk and New wave.
Main figures: Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen

Soft rockSoft rock example
Commercial and smooth genre which emerged the early 1970s, partially as a reaction to the extreme and psychedelic sounds of the late 1960s.
Soft rock artists like those below created simple and melodic songs with big and rich productions.
Main figures: Elton John, Phil Collins, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Carpenters, Chicago

Heavy metalLook@www.allmusic.com
An aggressive and heavily amplified style of rock. Characterized by the powerful, loud guitar riffs, 'power chords' and rigid rhythms. In the 1970s, heavy metal established itself as one of the most commercially successful forms of Rock & Roll. The electric guitar is the center of the Heavy metal rock. Technical skills of guitarists in this style have always been very high and some of them are considered innovators in guitar techniques and speed.
Main figures: Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Metallica

A type of religious popular song that succeeded black Spirituals. Gospel singing is usually accompanied by instruments such as organ, piano, guitars and percussion, and it may merge into ecstatic dance. Emerging in the 19th century, as a white music, black gospel music developed by the 1930s, out of the combination of the earlier hymns and some elements from black spirituals.
Main figures: Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe

CountryLook@www.allmusic.comAmerican country musicMIDI example of country music
Country music grew out of South-American folk music, and cowboy South-western music. This music is simple in form and in harmony, usually vocalized in romantic or sad ballads, accompanied by fiddles, banjos, harmonica and guitars. In the 1940s, a style named 'Bluegrass music' grew from the country music and combined elements of dance, entertainment and religious folk music.
Main figures: Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson

Rhythm & BluesRhythm & Blues exampleLook@www.allmusic.com
Grew out of the Blues in the 1940s, Rhythm & Blues was the basis of Rock & Roll. It used Blues chord changes played with an insistent backbeat, by an ensemble, with an emphasis on the song rather than improvisation. Eventually, Rhythm & Blues metamorphosed into soul music and the commercialized Rock & Roll.
Main figures: Ray Charles, The Drifters, Percy Mayfield

African-American musicians from the 1960s created this commercial, urban version of Rhythm & Blues. The term describes a number of music styles from different regions of America, such as the Motown pop-soul of Detroit, to the sound of Philadelphia, Chicago, and others. Soul music involves dramatic vocal techniques, such as falsetto and sighs, which became its trademarks in the pop music scene.
Main figures: Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross

FunkReggae exampleLook@www.allmusic.com
Black American popular music which developed in the late 1960s, as musicians began to combine the Rock textures and improvisations and black Soul music. Uses very complex and syncopated rhythmic patterns.
Main figures: James Brown, Sly Stone, Prince, George Clinton

In the late 1970s, on both sides of the Atlantic, a few eccentric and outrageous bands played loud, fast, insistent music with protest, violent and abusive lyrics. In London, the first punk band was the Sex Pistols, who were thought of as a serious threat to the political order and caused countless Punk bands to form. Musically, Punk musicians returned Rock & Roll to the basics of three chords and a simple melody.
After a short time, punk splintered into the experimental post-punk, the pop New wave, and the faster, harder, abrasive Hardcore.
Main figures: the Sex Pistols, Stranglers

A dissonant, electronic, distorted, rather avant-garde and abrasive style of music that grew out of the electronic experiments of some 1970s bands.
Main figures: Ministry, Skinny Puppy

Progressive rock / Art rockLook@www.allmusic.com
Progressive Rock fused rock music with elements of classical and European folk music. The results were long and complex, semi-experimental, instrumental-vocal works. Just like a classical programme work, an art rock album mostly tried to tell a story or to describe a subject. A few of them drew their inspiration from the classical opera and were defined as 'Rock operas'. Whereas Progressive rock was more improvisational and allowed influences by psychedelic and Jazz music, Art rock showed a tendency toward mystical imagery with medieval (middle ages) symbols and lyrics.
Main figures: Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Rick Wakeman, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Camel

New WaveLook@www.allmusic.comNew wave example
General term for the music that followed punk from the late 1970s. Contrary to the challenging and arty post-punk, new wave was simple Pop music without many pretensions. Many influences seem to be upon New wave musicians like Duran Duran with their synthesized productions, Madness with the Ska (a British-Jamaican dance music), Police with Reggae, and the Rock & Roll of The Pretenders. In the early 1980s and until the mid 1980s, the new MTV broadcast New Wave video clips extensively, in order to fill their programs, and gave a boost to this music.
Main figures: the Human League, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, The Pretenders, Blondie, Level 42, The Police

ReggaeLook@www.allmusic.comReggae example
An urban popular music and dance style, originating in Jamaica in the mid-1960s, by local musicians who were influenced by American Rock and Soul music they heard on the radio, and they fused it with traditional African-Jamaican music. The characteristic rhythmic texture is an amalgam of short ostinatos on electric guitars, electric organ, electric bass and drums emphasizing the off-beats of quadruple metre. Through the Reggae music, which became most popular all over the world, Bob Marley and the Wailers (his band) proclaimed the Rastafarian religious movement's beliefs.
Main figures: Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals, UB40, Inner Circle, Ziggy Marley

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